'we returned' // חזרנו
04 December 2020 - 02 March 2021
Chabad Islington Jewish Community Centre & Art Gallery
36 Upper Street
London N1 0PN
חזרנו // ‘we returned’ is the inaugural group exhibition celebrating the opening of the shul and gallery space at 36 Upper Street in Angel. The establishment of 36 Upper Street is particularly significant, given that Islington has not had a synagogue in over 50 years. The establishment of a rotating gallery in the same space as the congregation is also of great significance.
With: Beverley Jane Stewart, Liorah Tchiprout, and David Hochhauser
Curated by Nicole Zisman
The private view took place on 3 December. You can view the photos from the event here.
The exhibition centers on London-based Jewish artists, and their commentaries on British Jewishness and British Jewish pride. As the presence of a synagogue inevitably nurtures a community, so too may the presence of Jewish art in this space foster connections between artist and audience within a wider community that, until now, seemed to keep within small satellites and tread fairly quietly in London (despite our indisputable legacy here). So too may the presence of Jewish art in this space properly contextualise our community as one driven by hachazarah (החזרה) — as one that returned, returns, and will return to each other.
Beverley-Jane Stewart tells the story of the Jews from past to present, displaying history in its various periods. As a ‘visual writer,’ she looks in intricate detail at how Jewish heritage operates in contemporary multi-cultural society fusing facts with emotions. Brought up in South London, she nurtured her artistic talent over the years in her spare time whilst obtaining a degree in Education and Art at London University. Beverley-Jane was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of Croydon Art Society for professional artists. Her work was exhibited at Guildhall and later shown at Southbank Centre where she received two awards; The Evening Standard For London at Play and The Artists Book Club. Her commissioned painting, titled 125 years of the United Synagogue, hangs in their head office. Her work has also been featured on the cover for Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ book Community of Faith as well as the cover and illustrations for the book The Jewish Community of Golders Green: A Social History by bestselling author Pam Fox. Beverley-Jane’s work is now fast gaining international standing, with exhibitions in England, Israel, Italy and Romania.
Liorah Tchiprout is concerned with belonging, girlhood and the theatrical. She builds physical puppet characters to construct her own pantheon from which to draw images. This methodology allows her subjects to sit in between the real and the imagined, to be drawn from a constructed reality. Her puppets are informed by the Modicut Theatre of 1920’s Yiddish New York, which took puppetry (traditionally a gentile medium) and infused it with Yiddish folktales and political satire. She is attracted to ways of making that are serious and playful simultaneously, and ways of subverting ideas around identity, womanhood and criticism of wealth and status. Her world centres the stories of women and girls — a world for them to liaise, interact, and plot in. Tchiprout studied Fine Art Printmaking at University of Brighton (graduating in 2016) with a semester at Bezalel School of Art and Design, Jerusalem. In 2020, she graduated from MA Printmaking at Camberwell College of Arts, London. She has previously shown at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, National Original Print Exhibition, ING Discerning Eye, All Mouth Gallery and Reaction in Seclusion. She was awarded the Print Futures Award, and the John Purcell Paper Award. Her work is held in collections including Soho House Tel Aviv, and private collections in the UK, Europe, USA and the Middle East.
David Hochhauser is a sculptor, painter, printer and cartoonist using a number of mediums and approaches in his work. His work concerns itself with themes of manufactured nostalgia, uncertainty, diaspora, and the deconstruction of the figure. He looks to combine his academic interests with his personal identity and Jewish background, using multiple artistic mediums to traverse the interconnectedness of his artistic pursuits. After completing a Geography degree, Hochhauser went on to study Fine Art at City & Guilds London Art School, where he specialised in bronzework. He currently works as a practising studio artist and research assistant at the UCL Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose, working to rethink the value of public arts institutions. His works have been displayed at Candid Arts Trust, Omer Tiroche Gallery, Limmud Cultural Festival, The Old Biscuit Factory, Artqol, Vacant Museum, and Artichoke Gallery. David is also the co-founder of Davar, a Jewish art collective.